New defensive coordinator for Seahawks? Ken Norton Jr. reportedly replacing Kris Richard
SEATTLE — Ken Norton Jr. is reportedly returning to the Seattle Seahawks to be the team’s defensive coordinator. The Seahawks will also reportedly bring back Mike Solari to be the offensive line coach.
Norton has long been tied to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, getting his start as linebackers coach at USC under Carroll, then moving with him to become Seattle’s linebackers coach before the Oakland Raiders named him as defensive coordinator in 2015.
Just last week, Norton was named as the San Francisco 49ers’ assistant head coach, but he reportedly had an out clause that allowed him to take a job as a coordinator.
The Seahawks told Q13 News there was “no update” on reports from last week that Kris Richard was on his way out and the new reports that Norton was taking over, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan issued this statement Monday afternoon on Norton:
“Last week, Ken was presented with an opportunity to once again coordinate a defense. Because of how we feel about Ken as a coach, we understand and respect his desire to pursue the position.”
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported both hires.
There is no word on what may happen with Richard, who has been the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator since 2015. The Seahawks reportedly told Richard he was welcome to seek work elsewhere. He interviewed for the Indianapolis Colts’ head coaching vacancy, which instead will reportedly go to Josh McDaniels.
Solari would replace Tom Cable, who was fired along with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell last week. Cable was hired over the weekend to be the Oakland Raiders’ offensive line coach.
Solari was the Seahawks’ offensive line coach for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He is coming off a two-year stint as the Giants’ offensive line coach.